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Human Rights Pariahs Support Belarus at the UN – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest
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On 29 October, Belarusian diplomats had another verbal joust on the issue of human rights in New York. They managed to gather significant support from other international pariahs. However, the adoption of a UN resolution stating concern over the...
2 November 2015
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Editorial: Why the EU Lifts Belarus Sanctions

On Saturday the suspension of most European Union targeted sanctions against Belarus came into effect. The sanctions were suspended ​“in response to the release of all Belarusian political prisoners on 22 August and in the context of improving EU-Belarus relations”....

23 October 2015
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Peaceful Elections as a Foreign Policy Tool

In October, the Belarusian foreign ministry worked hard to use the presidential elections as a tool to strengthen the positive trend in relations between Belarus and the West. Foreign minister Vladimir Makei managed not to miss this second chance,...

8 October 2015
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Building Ties with Europe, Setting Priorities in the UN – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

Belarus has been pursuing its strategy of normalising relations with Europe. In Minsk and European capitals, diplomats focused on strengthening trade and investment cooperation. In New York, foreign minister Vladimir Makei sought to foster further political normalisation, which many...

16 September 2015
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New Agreement with EU, Reviving Embassies with the US – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

Encouraged by "non-negative dynamics" in Belarus, the European Union is drafting a new kind of framework agreement with Minsk. It will take into account the realities of their relationship. In the meantime, Minsk and Washington are discussing the practicalities...

21 August 2015
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Belarus Engages Ukraine, Moldova, Improves Ties with EU and US – Foreign Policy Digest

The summer holidays proved to be productive for the relations of Belarus with both "old" and "new" Europe. Foreign minister Vladimir Makei ended a continued pause in high-level contacts with Belarus' southern neighbour by an unconventional five-day long visit to...

18 August 2015
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Belarus and Russian Food Embargo: a Success Story?

Belarus became the primary beneficiary of the food embargo, which Russia imposed against Western nations in August 2014. In January – May 2015, Belarus supplied 916.4 thousand tons of embargoed products to Russia, a 53.5% increase over the same...

7 May 2015
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Will Lukashenka Mediate A Russian-Georgian Rapprochement?

On 22-24 April Aliaksandr Lukashenka paid his first official visit to Georgia in the history of his reign. Belarus and Georgia have maintained minimal economic and political ties over the years, mainly due to Russia’s confrontation with Georgia that...

6 May 2015
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From Sanctions to Summits: Belarus after the Ukraine Crisis

Belarus is returning to the international spotlight, but for once, not just as the “last dictatorship in Europe”. The two summits that Minsk hosted in the past year on the conflict in east Ukraine indicate a tentative shift in...

13 April 2015
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Threats to Belarus, Eurasian Union, Political Prisoners – Digest of Belarusian Analytics

Belarusian analysts discuss the threat to Belarusian statehood from Russia, the pros and contras of the Eurasian Economic Union as well as protest potential and intensified contacts of Belarus with the West. Foreign Policy Karbalevich on Belarus: Hybrid Ally...

2 April 2015
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Belarus Engages with the US, Improves Ties with Europe and Post-Soviet Countries – Foreign Policy Digest

Belarusian diplomacy has been shifting the country's relations with the West into high gear seeking to capitalise on Belarus' newfound importance for regional stability. "The Europeans … are ready to cooperate with us, including for the sake of security in...

23 March 2015
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Minsk Dialogue Conference: Belarus to Become a Regional Hub for Expert Diplomacy

Minsk has recently reaffirmed its status as a regional diplomacy hub. Western governments have been eager to praise Belarus' role in the Ukraine peace process and became receptive to the Belarusian regime's ideas on reformatting the Eastern Partnership initiative. This...

19 January 2015
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Belarus-EU Visa-Free Travel: An Unrealistic Prospect?

The EUobserver reported last week that Belarus might start talks over a visa-free regime with the EU, citing senior officials from the Latvian EU presidency. Many Belarusians reacted to this statement with expressions of surprise, satisfaction and hope,...

8 January 2015
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Belarusian Diplomacy in 2014: Laying the Groundwork for 2015?

In 2014, Belarus lost its title as Europe's last dictatorship and Minsk offered up its name for the peace process in Ukraine. Belarus' self-inflicted isolation from the international democratic community has been seriously eroded but not definitely broken. Belarus' response...

24 November 2014
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Less Overt Support for Ukraine, Lukashenka Takes Pity on Putin – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

Gunnar Wiegand, the top EU official for the CIS region, visited Minsk last week to continue active dialogue on modernisation. His unexpected avoidance of Belarus' titular opposition raised concerns in their ranks about a possible shift in policy in...